Lemon bars are a great treat to make any time of the year.
They are fresh and buttery and delicious.
However, these lemon bars are not your average lemon bars.
These are roasty toasty caramelized lemon bars.
Before I ever made these I was not a lemon bar fan.
And now, I truly am, but only this recipe.
This is a recipe I found in a vintage Joy of Cooking book years ago.
The recipe was so easy and quick and exquisite that I memorized it and make them all the time.
The villa has a small citrus grove with gobs of lemons, grapefruits, oranges and Mexican limes - so you can imagine how many trays of lemon bars I made this year.
Huge juicy lemons too.
I am beyond amazed at their quality.
So here we go, the ingredients are very simple.
(you'll find the recipe at the bottom of this post)
First you make the crust and then you make the filling.
Zest of lemon is the best scent in the world.
I love fresh scents, don't you?
So I take a medium to large bowl and mix up the ingredients for the crust first with a fork, and then with my hands.
The crust looks very crumbly at first but you just pour that into your buttered dish...
Evenly disperse it and then just push it down with your fingertips.
After a couple minutes it will look like this.
You bake it per the instructions at the end of this blog post.
And then you take it out and make the filling.
It's very easy and painless.
Even a non-baker can make this.
Just make sure you have a grater for your lemon skin handy before you begin.
Then you just pour your filling over the warm crust and pop it back into the oven to finish baking.
I like to make my filling after the crust emerges from the oven.
I just set the crust aside and mix up the filling and pour it onto the very warm crust.
Once you do your second baking your crust should look like this (below).
Now, here is where my baking time differs from most people.
I do not like pale eggy lemon bars.
I understand some people do.
For some reason I do not.
I am sure both styles are fine, but I prefer to let my crust get extra golden brown.
It only takes a couple extra minutes.
In fact at the country house it gets this golden at the regular time.
So just keep an eye on it.
The golden brown causes a flavor that is sublime and very caramelized.
So once your done...
You can eat them with a spoon right out of the dish, just blow on them until cool so you don't burn your tongue, wait what?
Once out of the oven allow them to cool for 30-60 minutes on a cookie sheet or something that keeps the bottom off of the counter for quicker cooling.
Then just carefully run your knife around the edges until you can tell that the crust is no longer stuck to the bottom of the baking dish. (you'll kind of see the whole thing shift a little and you'll know it is not stuck)
Then you can turn it over onto a parchment covered plate, and then again onto another parchment covered plate to get it right side up again.
This one was beyond perfect and they always work out like that for me.
If however, your crust is stuck and you have to take it out in pieces that is okay too.
I then flip them again and cut into squares.
They are sweet enough for me at this stage so I do not add the powdered sugar on top. You can if you'd like for effect, but I don't like the extra sweetness.
I can tell you one thing though.
You will not be able to stop eating these.
I never have had a major sweet tooth and these are impossible to stop eating.
The crust is so buttery and crispy with a caramel quality, you will become addicted.
Yumm yumm yumm!
Serve and devour.
I've been wanting to share these the last couple weeks.
I finally had a chance to pop in and share the pics.
You really must give them a go.
You will be so pleased.
I've never tried them with the coconut flakes as seen in the recipe below, but I bet they're quite good too.
Try them without first and see what you think.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do around here.
I make them for events, gatherings, or no reason at all.
They are quick and wonderful.
I think I'll go make some now.
See you soooon,
Lemon Curd Squares (The Joy of Cooking 1975 edition, pp. 703-4)
Preheat oven 350'F
Sift together: (I never do the sifting part so it's not crucial)
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
Add and combine:
1/2 cup melted butter (I use salted butter)
Press the mixture into an 8x8-inch greased baking pan and bake 20 minutes.
1 cup sugar (regular table sugar)
1/2 teaspoon double acting baking power (I just use regular)
2 slightly beaten eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
(1/2 cup flaked coconut if desired - I've never tried this)
Pour these ingredients over the baked warm crust and bake 25 minutes.When cut & cool sprinkle with confectioner's sugar ( I never do this)